Odessa Fire Department honors those struggling with behavioral illnesses

Odessa Fire Department honors those struggling with behavioral illnesses

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Friday night the Odessa Fire Department (OFD) held a moment of silence to honor those who have fell victims to behavioral illnesses and their families.

This is an event the fire department hopes to participate in years to come.
They were inspired after they lost one of their own, who was part of OFD for nearly 30 years.

"So this year it's especially important to remember those who we lost and remember his [Hugh Koenig] family, his wife kay and his kids and let them know we support them. And of course, we're still missing Hugh," said Fire Training Captain Saul Ortega.

This is an event to bring awareness to behavior issues like PTSD and depression, Ortega said this is a stressful job and many firefighters struggle with these.

Fire and EMS departments participated nationwide last year.

The event gave families and the community a chance to gather. A moment of silence was taken and the lights of every Odessa fire truck were turned on in order to honor firefighters who were lost of behavior illnesses.

"It weighs heavy on us and sometimes it's just too heavy to bare," said Ortega. 
Captain Ortega said this is an important issue to address and the department hopes to keep participating annually.

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